What data are available on the extent of illicit drug use and dependence globally? Results of four systematic reviews

Degenhardt, Louisa, Bucello, Chiara, Calabria, Bianca, Nelson, Paul, Roberts, Anna, Hall, Wayne, Lynskey, Michael, Wiessing, Lucas and GBD Illicit Drug Use Writing Grp (2011) What data are available on the extent of illicit drug use and dependence globally? Results of four systematic reviews. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 117 2-3: 85-101. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.11.032


Author Degenhardt, Louisa
Bucello, Chiara
Calabria, Bianca
Nelson, Paul
Roberts, Anna
Hall, Wayne
Lynskey, Michael
Wiessing, Lucas
GBD Illicit Drug Use Writing Grp
Title What data are available on the extent of illicit drug use and dependence globally? Results of four systematic reviews
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Dependence   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0376-8716
1879-0046
Publication date 2011-09-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.11.032
Volume 117
Issue 2-3
Start page 85
End page 101
Total pages 17
Place of publication Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background:
We systematically reviewed availability and quality of data on the prevalence of use and dependence on meth/amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine and opioids.

Methods:
Multiple search strategies: (a) peer-reviewed literature searches (1990-2008) using methods recommended by the Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) group; (b) systematic searches of online databases; (c) Internet searches to find other published evidence of drug use; (d) repeated consultation and feedback from experts around the globe; (e) a viral email sent to lists of researchers in the illicit drug and HIV fields. Data were extracted and graded according to predefined variables reflecting quality of data source.

Results:

Qualitative evidence of illicit drug use and dependence was found for most countries, which hold over 98% of the world's population aged 15-64 years. Countries where use was identified but prevalence estimates had not been made (evidence of drug supply, trafficking, reports of use, treatment data) were mainly from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Oceania. Estimates of the prevalence of use were located in 77 countries for meth/amphetamine, 95 for cannabis, 86 for cocaine and 89 for opioids. Dependence prevalence estimates existed in very few countries; 9 meth/amphetamine dependence estimates, 7 cannabis dependence estimates, 5 cocaine dependence estimates, and 25 opioid dependence estimates were located.

Conclusions:

Data on the extent of meth/amphetamine, cannabis, cocaine and opioid use and dependence must be improved in quality and coverage. Dependence estimates are lacking even in high income countries that have required resources. Responses to illicit drug dependence require better estimates of its scale.
Keyword Cocaine
Meth/amphetamine
Cannabis
Opioid
Dependence
Epidemiology
Prevalence
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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